Cameron to visit England’s flooded north as power cuts hit hundreds


Prime Minister David Cameron planned to visit flooded areas of northern England on Monday as hundreds of homes remained without electricity and police found a body in a swollen river.

Cameron chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency committee to respond to the floods early Monday, he said on Twitter, adding, “later I will visit badly hit areas.”

In the worst-hit area, the north-western county of Cumbria, police said they had found a body following reports that an elderly man fell into the River Kent near the town of Kendal on Sunday.

“Officers, along with the underwater search team, are working to recover the body which has been located in the Kendal area,” Cumbria police said.

In Carlisle, Cumbria’s administrative centre, hundreds of homes were without electricity and troops were helping emergency workers to evacuate residents from flooded streets.

Some hospitals, schools and other public buildings were closed, while railway lines and roads were blocked by floods and landslides.

Storm Desmond brought 340 millimetres of rain in 24 hours to Cumbria’s mountainous Honister area and affected most parts of Scotland, North Wales and northern England over the weekend.

Nearly 100 flood warnings remained active on Monday, many of them along swollen rivers, the government said.

“We are expecting upwards of 2,000 homes and businesses will have been flooded,” Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said Sunday.

“Some areas are experiencing power cuts while other are difficult to reach because of severe disruption to travel,” Truss said.

Authorities in Cumbria opened two reception centres in Carlisle and one in Kendal for people evacuated from flooded areas.

In Scotland, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the weather was “returning to normal, meaning the recovery phase is now underway.”

“However, although water levels are dropping, they remain very high and continued vigilance is needed,” Sweeney said.